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WE CAN OVERCOME

Take for example Egyptian hieroglyphics. In seminary I had plenty of brilliant folks for classmates, just amazing people. One man, Kevin was with us on our trip to the Holy Land. Kevin finishing his M.Div at Princeton and was soon on his way to Harvard for a Ph.D. in biblical languages. Kevin knew the standard Greek, Hebrew, Latin, German, French, Spanish and Ugaritic, but in his spare time Kevin taught himself Aramaic and Egyptian hieroglyphics. Egyptian hieroglyphics? This guy could read the stuff on the tombs and temples in Egypt. How cool was that? In fact, at one point he got into an argument with the Egyptian guide in Luxor about the meaning of a text. The guide became furious and then broke out in laughter - Kevin was the first person in 30 years of being a guide who could read the hieroglyphics. They were inseparable after that.

Kevin said that in the past, it was assumed that each glyph, or picture, stood for an idea or a whole thought. Wavy lines were assumed to mean ’water,’ a round disc to mean ’sun’ and an image of a bird flying meant ’flight.’ However, scholars now know that each glyph, or picture, stands for a sound. For example the image of a round disc stands for the sound ’Ra.’ It turns out that Egyptian hieroglyphics are just a complicated ancient alphabet, Egyptian hieroglyphics are simply ancient Egyptian Coptic language written. Kevin said that "all" he had to do was learn Egyptian Coptic, and then Egyptian hieroglyphics were easy.

I’m sure, just a piece of cake.

Yet, Kevin learned by imitation--once he knew the sounds, it was easy. Once we know the one who is love, even the most difficult thing can be overcome.

(From a sermon by Peter Loughman, "Old Is New" 1/28/2009)

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